Ecuador and the Galapagos photos: 2010

Click on the small picture to see a larger, more detailed version. I toured Ecuador in November 2010 with a pre-trip to the Galapagos. I also toured North-west Ecuador in November 2013. The weather was good much of the time, but many of the inland Ecuador photos suffered from a lack of light due to the thick forests and/or rain. Most of the photos were taken with a Canon camera with 100-400mm zoom lens, but I also use a Nikon point-and-shoot for scenery.. The trip was very enjoyable and was led by Jan Hansen (dba Otus Asio Tours He leads a variety of trips, all of which I would recommend. The Galapagos extension was arranged by Jan but led by the guide and crew of Nemo II.

The Galapagos

The Galapagos is a set of volcanic islands 1000 km east of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean. The wildlife there was decimated by early sailors, but is being restored and very actively protected now. The pre-trip was on the 22-meter catamaran Nemo II with visits twice a day to islands mostly on the eastern side of the Galapagos. The western side is where the active volcanos are located, so the eastern islands are much older and vegetated at some level. The Galapagos are known as the inspiration for Charles Darwin's Origin of Species describing natural evolution. The 13 species of "Darwin Finches" are widely thought to be the most important. However, Darwin did not keep accurate records of the islands from which he collected the finches. It was the Mockingbirds, for which he did keep accurate records, that were the actual inspiration of his ideas. Some of the birds we saw are very rare: Lava Gulls are down to about 400 breeding pairs and Charles Mockingbirds have been reduced to 57 individuals on Champion Islet off Floreana Island.

[Galapagos & Ecuador] [Galapagos] [Galapagos]

Google and tourist maps to help orient you:
note, that the islands have modern names as well as earlier English names.

[Brown Noddy] [Galapagos Petrel]

Brown Noddy fishing at Baltra Island (morning);
Galapagos Petrel from Nemo II (evening), October 31, 2010.

[Galapagos] [Galapagos] [Sally Lightfoot Crab] [Sally Lightfoot Crab]

beach scene with Blue-footed Booby, cactus with vertical pads,
Sally Lightfoot Crab, Bachas Beach on Santa Cruz Island, October 31, 2010.

[Marine Iguana] [Brown Pelican] [Great blue Heron] [Sanderling]

Marine Iguana, Brown Pelican, Great Blue Heron, Sanderling,
Bachas Beach on Santa Cruz Island, October 31, 2010.

[White-cheeked Pintail] [Small Ground Finch] [Yellow Warbler] [Yellow Warbler]

White-cheeked Pintail, Small Ground Finch, Yellow Warbler,
Bachas Beach on Santa Cruz Island, October 31, 2010.

[Galapagos] [Galapagos] [Galapagos] [Lava Lizard] [Large Painted Locust] [Lava Cactus]

Volcanic scenes, panga is washed with soap before every landing,
Lava Lizard, Large Painted Locust, Lava Cactus (first pioneer in lava beds),
Batholomew Island, November 1, 2010.

[Galapagos Sea Lion] [Galapagos Sea Lion] [Galapagos Penguin] [Elliot's Storm Petrel] [Nazca Booby] [Magnificent Frigatebird]

Galapagos sea Lion (baby, beach master), Galapagos Penguin,
Elliot's Storm Petrel, Nazca Booby, Magnificent Frigatebird,
on and near Sombrero Chino Island, November 1, 2010.

[Galapagos Giant Tortoise] [Galapagos Giant Tortoise] [Galapagos Giant Tortoise] [Galapagos Giant Tortoise] [Galapagos Flycatcher] [Small Ground Finch]

Galapagos Giant Tortoise, Galapagos Flycatcher, Small Ground Finch,
Isabel Island Giant Tortoise Center, November 2, 2010.

[Galapagos Mockingbird] [Greater Flamingo] [White-cheeked Pintail] [Lava Gull] [Striated Heron] [Marine Iguana] [Sally Lightfoot Crab]

Galapagos Mockingbird, Greater Flamingo, White-cheeked Pintail at Tortoise Center,
Lava Gull, Striated Heron, Marine Iguana, Sally Lightfoot Crab at Puerto Villamil,
Isabel Island, November 2, 2010.

[Elliot's Storm Petrel] [Galapagos Penguin] [Galapagos Penguin] [Galapagos Penguin] [Galapagos Green Turtle] [Marine Iguana]

Elliot's Storm Petrel, Galapagos Penguin, Galapagos Green Turtle, Marine Iguana,
Tintoreras Lagoon, Isabel Island, November 2, 2010.

[Swallow-tailed Gull] [Brown Noddy] [Galapagos Shearwater] [Red-billed Tropicbird] [Charles Mockingbird] [Charles Mockingbird]

Swallow-tailed Gull, Brown Noddy, Galapagos Shearwater, Red-billed Tropicbird,
Charles Mockingbird, from panga off Champion Islet,
near Floreana Island, November 3, 2010.

[Medium Ground Finch] [Yellow Warbler] [Sally Lightfoot Crab] [Lava Heron] [Lava Heron] [Large Tree Finch]

Medium Ground Finch, Yellow Warbler, Sally Lightfoot Crab, Lava Heron, Large Tree Finch,
Floreana Island, November 3, 2010.

[Medium Ground Finch] [Small Ground Finch] [Small Ground Finch] [Galapagos]

Medium Ground Finch (left), Small Ground Finch (2), the Post Office,
Post Office Bay, Floreana Island, November 3, 2010.

[Galapagos Sea Lion] [Galapagos Sea Lion] [Galapagos Sea Lion] [Hood Mockingbird] [Hood Mockingbird]

Galapagos Sea Lion, Hood Mockingbird,
Bahia Gardner, Espanola Island, November 4, 2010.

[Nemo II] [Large Cactus Ground Finch] [Galapagos Flycatcher] [Warbler Finch] [Warbler Finch] [Galapagos Shearwater]

Nemo II, Large Cactus Ground Finch, Galapagos Flycatcher, Warbler Finch,
Bahia Gardner, Espanola Island,
Galapagos Shearwater from Nemo II, November 4, 2010.

[Marine Iguana] [Marine Iguana] [Marine Iguana] [Yellow-crowned Night Heron] [Lava Lizard]

Marine Iguana, Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Lava Lizard,
Punta Suarez, Espanola Island, November 4, 2010.

[Large Cactus Ground Finch] [Large Cactus Ground Finch] [Blue-footed Booby] [Blue-footed Booby] [Blue-footed Booby] [Nazca Booby] [Nazca Booby]

Large Cactus Ground Finch, Blue-footed and Nazca Boobies,
Punta Suarez, Espanola Island, November 4, 2010.

[Swallow-tailed Gull] [Swallow-tailed Gull] [Waved Albatross] [Waved Albatross] [Waved Albatross] [Galapagos Dove] [Galapagos Hawk]

Swallow-tailed Gull, Waved Albatross, Galapagos Dove, Galapagos Hawk,
Punta Suarez, Espanola Island, November 4, 2010.

[Galapagos Sea Lion] [Galapagos Mockingbird] [Cactus Ground Finch] [Cactus Ground Finch] [Galapagos Dove] [Land Iguana]

Galapagos Sea Lion, Galapagos Mockingbird, Cactus Ground Finch,
Galapagos Dove, Land Iguana, Santa Fe Island, November 5, 2010.

[Galapagos Giant Tortoise] [Medium Ground Finch] [Smooth-billed Ani] [Large Tree Finch]

Galapagos Giant Tortoise, Medium Ground Finch, Smooth-billed Ani,
Large Tree Finch, Darwin Center, Santa Cruz Island, November 5, 2010.

[Nemo II] [Land Iguana] [Land Iguana] [Land Iguana] [Land Iguana]

Nemo II, Land Iguana, South Plaza Island Island, November 6, 2010.

[Galapagos Shearwater] [Swallow-tailed Gull] [Red-billed Tropicbird] [Lava Gull] [Galapagos Sea Lion]

Galapagos Shearwater, Swallow-tailed Gull, Red-billed Tropicbird, Lava Gull,
Galapagos Sea Lion with newborn, South Plaza Island Island, November 6, 2010.

[Great Frigatebird] [Galapagos] [American Oystercatcher] [Blue-footed Booby] [Lava Gull]

Great Frigatebird from Nemo II, immense waves, American Oystercatcher,
Blue-footed Booby, Lava Gull, North Seymour Island, November 6, 2010.

[Magnificent Frigatebird] [Magnificent Frigatebird] [Magnificent Frigatebird] [Magnificent Frigatebird] [Magnificent Frigatebird]

Magnificent Frigatebird, North Seymour Island, November 6, 2010.

[Eagle Ray]

Eagle Ray, Coleta Tortuga, Baltra Island, November 7, 2010.

Mainland Ecuador

Ecuador is a small country with a vast number of birds. The capital is Quito located at an elevation of about 9000 feet. From there we drove east to Andes peaks as high as 13000 and even 14000 feet. Then we continued east and downhill to 2 different lodges at intermediate elevations. Finally we drove to Coca (Puerto Francisco de Orellana just at the right side of the first map at top) and took a "canoe" east on the Napo River to a side river and paddled up that to the Napo Wildlife Center. All trips from there required canoes although some let us walk on dry land for portions of the trip.

[Quito] [Sparkling Violet-Ear] [Eared Dove] [Eared Dove] [Great Thrush] [Rufous-collared Sparrow] [Rufous-collared Sparrow]

Quito scene from hotel window, Sparkling Violet-Ear, Eared Dove,
Great Thrush, Rufous-collared Sparrow in park at hotel, Quito October 30, 2010.

[Quito] [Quito] [Quito] [Quito] [Quito]

Quito scenes: Observatory, Basilica del Volto Nacional (side and one end),
El Penecillo hill with La Virgin de Quito, La Compania de Jesus, November 8, 2010.

[Andes] [Andes] [Andes] [Giant Hummingbird] [Brown-backed Chat Tyrant] [Black-winged Ground Dove]

Scenes at 12000 feet elevation and above,
Giant Hummingbird, Brown-backed Chat Tyrant, Black-winged Ground Dove,
Antisana Ecological Reserve, November 9, 2010.

[Stout-billed Cinclodes] [Bar-winged Cinclodes] [Carunculated Caracara] [Plumbeous Sierra Finch] [Black-faced Ibis] [Black-faced Ibis]

Stout-billed Cinclodes, Bar-winged Cinclodes, Carunculated Caracara,
Plumbeous Sierra Finch, Black-faced Ibis,
Antisana Ecological Reserve, November 9, 2010.

[Silvery Grebe] [Andean Coot] [Plain-colored Seedeater] [Jan Hansen] [Ecuadorian Hillstar] [Ecuadorian Hillstar]

Silvery Grebe and Andean Coot at Lake Micacocha, Plain-colored Seedeater,
Jan, Ecuadorian Hillstar, Antisana Ecological Reserve, November 9, 2010.

[Red-crested Cotinga] [Spectacled Whitestart] [Shining Sunbeam] [Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager] [Blue-backed Conebill] [Agile Tit-Tyrant]

Red-crested Cotinga, Spectacled Whitestart, Shining Sunbeam,
Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager, Blue-backed Conebill, Agile Tit-Tyrant,
Papallacta Pass, November 10, 2010.

[Tawny Antpita] [Pale-naped Brush-Finch] [Black-backed Bush-Tanager] [Rufous-bellied Seed-Snipe] [Rufous-bellied Seed-Snipe]

Tawny Antpita, Pale-naped Brush-Finch, Black-backed Bush-Tanager at Papallacta Pass,
Rufous-bellied Seed-Snipe at Radio Towers close to 14000 feet, November 10, 2010.

[Guango Lodge] [Torrent Duck] [Hooded Mountain-Tanager] [Slate-crowned Antpita]

River near Lodge, Torrent Duck, Hooded Mountain-Tanager, Slate-crowned Antpita,
Gunago Lodge trails, November 10, 2010.

[Tyrean Metaltail] [Long-tailed Sylph] [Long-tailed Sylph] [Chestnut-breasted Coronet] [Chestnut-breasted Coronet] [Masked Flowerpiercer] [Masked Flowerpiercer]

Tyrean Metaltail, Long-tailed Sylph, Chestnut-breasted Coronet,
Masked Flowerpiercer, feeders at Guango Lodge, November 9-11, 2010.

[Tourmaline Sunangel] [Tourmaline Sunangel] [Sword-billed Hummingbird] [Sword-billed Hummingbird] [White-bellied Woodstar] [Buff-winged Starfronlet] [Collared Inca]

Tourmaline Sunangel, Sword-billed Hummingbird, White-bellied Woodstar,
Buff-winged Starfronlet, Collared Inca,
feeders at Guango Lodge, November 9-11, 2010.

[Turquoise Jay] [Cinamon Flycatcher] [Montane Woodcreeper] [Pearled Treerunner] [Spectacled Whitestart] [Spectacled Whitestart] [Black-capped Hemisphingus]

Turquoise Jay, Cinamon Flycatcher, Montane Woodcreeper,
Pearled Treerunner, Spectacled Whitestart, Black-capped Hemisphingus,
trails at Guango Lodge, November 11, 2010.

[Masked Trogon] [Golden-crowned Flycatcher] [Black-crested Warbler] [Green Jay] [White-bellied Antpita] [Emerald Toucanet]

Masked Trogon, Golden-crowned Flycatcher, Black-crested Warbler,
Green (Inca) Jay, White-bellied Antpita, Emerald Toucanet,
San Isidro Lodge, November 12, 2010.

[White-capped Tanager] [Rufous-collared Sparrow] [Golden-headed Quetzel] [Southern Lapwing] [Violaceous Jay] [Black Agouti]

White-capped Tanager, Rufous-collared Sparrow, Golden-headed Quetzel,
Southern Lapwing, November 12; Violaceous Jay, Black Agouti, November 13, 2010,
at and near San Isidro Lodge.

[San Isidro view] [Chestnut-breasted Coronet] [Fawn-breasted Brilliant] [Fawn-breasted Brilliant] [Sparkling Violetear] [Green Violetear]

View from deck, Chestnut-breasted Coronet, Fawn-breasted Brilliant,
Sparkling Violetear, Green Violetear, feeders at San Isidro Lodge, November 12-13, 2010.

[Speckled Hummingbird] [Bluish Flowerpiercer] [Long-tailed Sylph] [Bronzy Inca] [Bronzy Inca]

Speckled Hummingbird, Bluish Flowerpiercer, Long-tailed Sylph, Bronzy Inca,
feeders at San Isidro Lodge, November 12-13, 2010.

[Andean Potoo] [Green Jay] [Montane Woodcreeper] [Canada Warbler]

Andean Potoo, Green (Inca) Jay, Montane Woodcreeper, Canada Warbler,
near and at San Isidro Lodge, November 14, 2010.

[Pale-edged Flycatcher] [White-crowned Parrot] [White-crowned Parrot] [Green and Black Fruiteater]

Pale-edged Flycatcher, White-crowned Parrot, Green and Black Fruiteater,
near and at San Isidro Lodge, November 14, 2010.

[Blue Dacnis] [Blue Dacnis] [Gilded Barbet]

Blue Dacnis, Gilded Barbet, Sumaco National Park, November 15, 2010.

[Hoatzin] [White-fronted Capuchine] [Capped Heron] [Greater Kiskadee] [Boat-billed Heron] [Azure Gallinule]

Hoatzin, White-fronted Capuchine monkey, Capped Heron,
Greater Kiskadee, Boat-billed Heron, Azure Gallinule,
morning paddle, Napo Wildlife Center, November 16, 2010.

[Greater Ani] [Owl Eye Butterfly] [Golden Tegu] [Golden Tegu] [Lineated Woodpecker] [Greater Yellow-headed Vulture]

Greater Ani, Owl Eye Butterfly, Golden Tegu lizard,
Lineated Woodpecker, Greater Yellow-headed Vulture,
morning paddle, Napo Wildlife Center, November 16, 2010.

[White-winged Swallow] [Yellow-rumped Cacique] [White-throated Toucan] [Violaceous Jay]

White-winged Swallow, Yellow-rumped Cacique at Center,
White-throated Toucan, Violaceous Jay at Canopy Tower,
Napo Wildlife Center, November 16, 2010.

[White-eared Jacamar] [Oilbird] [Red Howler Monkey] [Golden-mantled Tamarin]

White-eared Jacamar, Oilbird, Red Howler Monkey, Golden-mantled Tamarin,
Napo Wildlife Center to Napo River, November 17, 2010.

[Dusky-headed Parakeet] [Blue-headed Parrot] [Blue-headed Parrot] [Mealy Parrot]

Dusky-headed Parakeet, Blue-headed Parrot, Mealy Parrot,
Napo River, November 17, 2010.

[Yellow-headed Caracara] [Oriole Blackbird] [Collared Plover] [Pied Plover (Lapwing)]

Yellow-headed Caracara, Oriole Blackbird, Collared Plover,
Pied Plover (Lapwing), Napo River, November 17, 2010.

[Anaconda] [Great Jacamar] [Ornate Hawk-Eagle] [Slender-billed Kite] [Common Squirrel Monkey]

Anaconda (a baby!), Great Jacamar, Ornate Hawk-Eagle,
Slender-billed Kite, Common Squirrel Monkey,
Napo River to Napo Wildlife Center, November 17, 2010.

[Blue and Yellow Macaw] [Blue and Yellow Macaw] [Yellow-bellied Dacnis] [Locust] [Yellow-rumped Cacique] [Butterfly] [Napo Wildlife Center]

Blue and Yellow Macaw, Yellow-bellied Dacnis (female), Locust, from Canopy Tower;
Yellow-rumped Cacique, butterflies, cabanas and lake,
Napo Wildlife Center, November 18, 2010.

[Red-capped Cardinal] [Hoatzin] [Rufescent Tiger-Heron] [Speckeld Chachalaca]

Red-capped Cardinal, Hoatzin, Rufescent Tiger-Heron, Speckeld Chachalaca,
evening boat trip, Napo Wildlife Center, November 18, 2010.

[Snail Kite] [Snail Kite] [Green and Rufous Kingfisher] [Zigzag Heron] [Zigzag Heron]

Snail Kite, Green and Rufous Kingfisher, Zigzag Heron,
evening boat trip, Napo Wildlife Center, November 18, 2010.

[Alligator Bug] [Turtle] [Long-nosed Bat] [Red Howler Monkey] [Red Howler Monkey] [Jan Hansen]

Alligator Bug, young turtle, Long-nosed Bat, Red Howler Monkey, Jan,
near Napo Wildlife Center, November 19, 2010.

[Cayman] [Cayman] [Amazon Kingfisher] [Black-capped Donacobius] [Azure Gallinule] [White-chinned Jacamar]

Cayman, Amazon Kingfisher, Black-capped Donacobius, Azure Gallinule,
White-chinned Jacamar, near Napo Wildlife Center, November 19, 2010.

Eric W. Greisen